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PRESS STATEMENT

PRESS RELEASE

2019 ANNUAL CONFERENCE

LIBERIAN BAR PRESS STATEMENT

AFBA Annual Conference 2019

The Nigerian Army on Thursday 7th of February 2019 in Abuja promised to partner and collaborate with the African Bar Association (AFBA) to promote the rule of law and human rights of Nigerians and Africans in general.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf  Buratai made this statement while receiving  a delegation of the AFBA  led by its president, Mr. Hannibal Uwaifo at the army headquarters in Abuja. General Buratai commended AFBA for championing the interest and rights of Africans in general.

He said: “We are happy to hear that one of our own, the Director of Army legal services, Major General Yusuf I. Shalangwa is the head of the Army Committee of the AFBA. We also   appreciate   what you have done in many African countries including Burundi, The Gambia, Sierra Leone and your efforts for the development of Africa, the promotion of human rights and the rule of law in the continent.

“Our officers and men are up to the task in the challenges in the North Eastern part of the country including the Boko Haram, Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and their efforts to blackmail the Nigerian  military by threats to take them to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Our rules of engagement are at par with International best practices, this is what we have done.

“We are a very good team to collaborate with, to promote human rights and the rule of law.  We have a  lot of standing rules of engagement, policy  guidelines and  other publications that guide and regulate everything that we do and our engagement. This also applies to our job on arrest, detention and interrogation of persons; all are done within the ambit of the international best practices and the rule of law.

The African Bar Association (AFBA) has condemned the killing of Citizen Godwin by men of the Nigeria Customs Service around Sagamu area, Ogun State Nigeria, on February 17, 2019. In the video of the shooting that trended on the social media, the lifeless body of the deceased could be seen on the ground, with blood around the neck areas.

In its official response, the Customs Service claimed to be preventing anti-smuggling, leading to accidental discharge. It claimed that the victim is an errand boy who served Customs officers when they retire home.

Reacting to the tragedy, the Justice Sector Reform Commission of AFBA said: “Whether as an errand boy or a traveler, the victim did not deserve to die by summary execution, as has happened in this case.

“AFBA recalls that Nigeria is a signatory to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, which has been domesticated as part of its municipal laws and recognized by the Supreme Court of Nigeria as an enforceable legislation.”

The statement signed by the commission’s Chairman, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, noted that Article 4 of the African Charter provides as follows: “Human beings are inviolable. Every human being shall be entitled to respect for his life and the integrity of his person. No one may be arbitrarily deprived of this right.”

The statement further said: “The shooting of Citizen Godwin by the Customs men amounts to summary execution and it is a cause for worry, especially in a country where the misuse of firearms by security personnel has been on the increase.

“AFBA urges a thorough investigation of this event by the government of Nigeria and the African Union, and if there is an established violation of the African Charter or any other municipal legislation by this misconduct, it should be addressed squarely and the perpetrators brought to justice. In this regard, AFBA will inaugurate an independent Commission of Inquiry into this incidence where the Nigerian government fails to act decisively.

“The narratives of the Customs on this unfortunate occurrence raised too many ambiguities and posed more questions than answers, given the graphic video recording of the event, the venue of the incident and the sequence of occurrences.

“Human life should be precious to all security agencies bearing arms and government owes it as a sacred responsibility to properly train and educate all security personnel on the rules of engagement in relation to the use of arms in non-combat situations, in order to minimize casualties to innocent civilians.”

Source News Express

The African Bar Association members continued their courtesy visit and this time around was at the Edo State Government House.

The Afba executive council members were warmly received by the deputy Governor of the state in the person of Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu by the mandate of the State governor who was a way due to campaign rallies of the ruling party he belongs to.

The meeting was very successful and a whole lot of issues were discussed.

Matters discussed bordered around the the Afba Excos 27th meeting, fighting corrupt practices within the government, state of the judiciary and legal profession.

Also in talks was the role of Afba in pacifying or coordinating talks with African leaders to leave seat when necessary instead of extended long time of conflicts.

The Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip a very intelligent law maker also made wonderful contributions, he identified that the government need to support Associations such as Afba, he also thanked the Afba President as being a son of the soil that has remembered to come home to host the Afba Excos 27th meeting.

Also in his speech, he talked about true democracy and how the government can truly represent the people that elected them, play by the rules of true democracy, having an Africa that the rule of law will continue to prevail.

At the end of the meeting the Afba presented their gifts to the Deputy Governor and finally the Attorney General of the state and commissioner of Justice Prof. Yinka Omorogbe thanked the deputy governor for accepting to meet with the Afba council members within a short notice.

The African Bar Association Executive Council Members departed for the rich ancient Benin City the capital of Edo state Nigeria in the early hours of Tuesday 5th of February for its 27th Exco meeting.

Benin City happens to be the AFBA’s president home town, and since this year makes it his 3 years in office for a reign of 5 years, in his words, the president said; he things it is only natural and wise to bring such an event back home.

The executive council members were warmly received from the airport by a delegation from the University of Benin (Uniben) which the Afba’s president happens to be an alumnus and also a good ambassador of the great institution of learning.

From the airport, the journey to courtesy visits began. Primo the Afba paid a visit to the Hon. Attorney General and commissioner of Justice of Edo State Prof. Yinga Omorogbe.

Prof. Yinka Omorogbe was excited to welcome the executive council members of the Afba and after exchanging pleasantries, members where introduced to the Prof.  Yinka Omorogbe  before the issues of the visit were tackled.

Amongst the many issues discussed where;

  • The presence and impact of the African Bar Association to law societies in Africa.
  • The activities of lawyers in the careers of politicians.
  • How the various law societies can fish out the bad few lawyers staining the image of the noble profession.
  • The coming elections in Nigeria that will be holding from February 16th 2019.
  • The Afba 2019 Conference that will be held in Cairo, Egypt in September from 2nd to 5th

The Afba council members were marvelled by the brilliant contributions and remarks given by Prof. Yinka Omorogbe and she also pledged her support to the Afba in any way she can.

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Join AFBA and become a full member, full membership includes membership of the AFBA and two committess from the legal practices division and the the SPPID. Are you a young lawyer? welcome AFBA also has a plan for you.

 

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Remember to renew to your membership. Annual membership runs from January 1st to December 31st. AFBA advices old members to endavour to renew their membership so they won't fall out of the numerous benefits attached to it.

 

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